Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Yoga Day 2: It Was a LONG Day...

We didn't finish today until 6:15 pm. The very last thing we worked on was chaturanga dandasana (the yoga push-ups). Note to self: do NOT save this pose until the end of class! My arms were like noodles and I could barely hold myself up! Other students seem to do fine, though, so maybe it's just me....

Okay, this morning's asana class focused on teaching basic poses. Max really likes you to teach something very basically, emphasizing only two or three points, then repeat it several times, adding something each time you repeat it. I did learn a few fine points about teaching some of the asana, including virabhadrasana I and II (warrior I and II), trikonasana (triangle), and sarvangasana (shoulderstand.) I also learned new ways to actually get into the poses. I really tried to focus on my breathwork this morning, knowing that if I do it, you will do it, too:-)

The afternoon session was the long one. Jamie Elmer arrived. She is a yoga instructor and a pilates instructor and assists Max and is, apparently, the anatomy/physiology expert. She certainly knows her stuff! Wow.

Max started out by telling us that in our lives and in our yoga practice, we need balance. There are three major centers: the physical, the mental, and the emotional. Most of us tend to feel most comfortable in one of these centers, and we need to make an effort to balance all three of them. Being more balanced leads to a feeling of "wholeness" or "completeness", which leads to more happiness! I had no trouble finding myself and figuring out what I need to work on.... how about you?

We had a bit more discussion about the bandhas, when and how to engage them, the benefits of each. (hint: especially in balancing poses!!)

We then moved into learning how to teach the poses and how to perform adjustments. We got into poses and deliberately (or not!) messed them up, and took turns trying to adjust each other. It was fun, but a lot of work. The best part was working on things I have actually seen in my classes and not really known how to correct them, even though I knew they were wrong. It was great to have the collective energy and knowledge of the class to work through these things. I know this will improve my teaching; I can't wait to give it a try!

As I mentioned, the final asana was chaturanga dandasana. Max and Jamie came around and adjusted each of us individually. By this time, I was... less than stellar. And I really needed some chocolate. I have a whole new level of sympathy for my students. Seriously. And maybe, that's the most important lesson of the day.

Til tomorrow....

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